5 Policies to Include When Writing Your Employee Handbook

Your employee handbook outlines the rules, practices & procedures for employees within your organization. In order to have an efficient workplace and effectively manage employees, these 5 policies should be included in your employee handbook:

  1. Employment Classification & Conflict of Interest – Employee classification refers to whether an employee is part-time, full-time, or temporary. A part-time employee may not receive the same benefits as a full-time employee. Terms for independent contractors are not included in an employee handbook. There should also be a provision regarding conflict of interest, which includes a non-compete clause. Clearly defining what times of behavior constitute a conflict of interest will reduce future conflict.
  2. Payroll & Benefits – Setting a clear payroll and benefit distribution policy enhances workplace transparency and improves employee retention. A report published by the Society for Human Resource Management found that employees who like their health care plan are more likely to stay. The benefits policy should include time-off & vacation request procedures as well as maternity leave.
  3. Expected Performance and Advancement Opportunities – There should be a standard level of expected performance that applies to all employees such as meeting deadlines, being present at meeting, etc. This can also include mandated quarterly reviews. When an employee falls below the standard level of expected performance, the policy should contain an escalating series of corrective disciplinary actions. On the contrary, if an employee significantly exceeds the standard level of expected performance and meets additional criteria, the employee should have the opportunity to advance. Advancement opportunities keep the workplace productive and competitive.
  4. Anti-Harassment & Discrimination Policy – A strong anti-harassment and discrimination policy not only outlines what behavior is unacceptable, it also provides clear guidelines for reporting and investigating inappropriate behavior.
  5. Internet Use Policy – The internet has become part of our everyday lives. In order to set clear expectations regarding internet use in and out of the work environment, your employee handbook should contain an internet use policy. This policy should include what type of websites are acceptable to access on the company’s system. You should work alongside the IT department to determine what type of behavior could compromise sensitive user data. This policy should also restrict employees from removing sensitive data from the workplace systems or using personal email addresses for business affairs.

Download a free employee handbook template.